OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5621

AN ACT CONCERNING HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

SUMMARY:

This bill makes a number of changes related to human trafficking. It:

1. (a) increases the Trafficking in Persons Council's membership from 22 to 24 by adding as members the consumer protection commissioner and Police Officers Standards and Training Council Basic Training Division director, or their designees, and (b) changes the council's charge;

2. requires each state's attorney and municipal police chief to annually report information on trafficking cases and their anti-trafficking efforts to the Children's and Judiciary committees;

3. requires hotel, motel, inn, and similar lodging operators to (a) maintain a system to keep records of all guest transactions and receipts for at least six months and (b) ensure that their employees receive annual training on human trafficking (§§ 3 & 5);

4. requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF) commissioner to consult with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) commissioner in developing a training and refresher training program related to human trafficking;

5. prohibits someone age 16 or 17 from being convicted of prostitution;

6. expands the conduct punishable as a class C felony under the crime of patronizing a prostitute;

7. expands the crime of enticing a minor to include enticing a minor age 16 or 17;

8. requires more people to post a notice about services for human trafficking victims;

9. changes the types of property subject to forfeiture as tainted funds and property related to sexual exploitation and human trafficking by (a) eliminating funds and property related to prostitution from these procedures and (b) subjecting to forfeiture property used or intended for use to commit or facilitate committing the crimes of patronizing a prostitute or patronizing a prostitute from a motor vehicle; and

10. imposes a mandatory $2,000 fine as part of the penalty for the crimes of patronizing a prostitute and patronizing a prostitute from a motor vehicle and requires using money collected for these fines for State Police and local police prostitution and human trafficking investigations (§ 12).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016, except the annual reporting requirement for each state's attorney and municipal police chief is effective upon passage.

§ 1 — TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS COUNCIL'S CHARGE

The bill changes the council's charge by (1) eliminating requirements that it identify criteria for providing services to adult and child trafficking victims and (2) requiring it to coordinate the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on human trafficking. By law, the council must also meet to provide updates and progress reports and consult with governmental and nongovernmental organizations in developing recommendations on trafficking efforts.

§ 2 — REPORTS ON TRAFFICKING ACTIVITIES AND STATISTICS

The bill requires each state's attorney (there are 13 state's attorneys, one for each judicial district in the state) and each municipal police chief to report to the Children's and Judiciary committees annually, beginning by October 1, 2016, on:

1. their participation in federal, statewide, or regional anti-trafficking efforts;

2. the number of referrals made related to human trafficking allegations;

3. the criteria used when deciding whether to investigate human trafficking allegations or initiate related criminal proceedings;

4. coordination between the Chief State's Attorney's Office and local police departments on trafficking cases;

5. the nature of annual training provided by each state's attorney and local police departments on trafficking;

6. obstacles to investigating trafficking;

7. the number of missing children investigations;

8. the number of referrals from DCF relating to trafficking; and

9. the number of trafficking cases referred for prosecution.

The bill also requires state's attorneys to report for the previous 12 months on the (1) number of trafficking cases resulting in convictions and (2) final dispositions of trafficking cases, including those appealed.

§ 4 — TRAINING

The bill requires the DCF commissioner to consult with the DESPP commissioner in developing a training and refresher training program for the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of suspected human trafficking. The commissioners must develop and approve a video presentation as part of the training that offers guidance to hotel, motel, and similar lodging employees on recognizing potential trafficking victims and common trafficking activities.

§ 5 — EMPLOYEE TRAINING

The bill requires hotel, motel, and similar lodging operators to ensure that their employees in these establishments receive annual training on recognizing potential trafficking victims and common trafficking activities. Annually, beginning by October 1, 2017, each operator must certify to DCF that their establishment employees received the training. An operator who does not comply with these provisions commits a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

§ 6 — PROSTITUTION

The bill prohibits someone age 16 or 17 from being convicted of prostitution. Currently, someone this age can be convicted of prostitution but he or she is presumed to be a human trafficking victim, which provides an affirmative defense to a prostitution charge.

By law, prostitution is a class A misdemeanor. Offenders age 16 or 17 likely would have their cases heard in juvenile court.

§§ 7-8 & 12 — PATRONIZING A PROSTITUTE

Patronizing a Prostitute

Currently, patronizing a prostitute is a class C felony if the person knew or reasonably should have known at the time of the offense that the prostitute was under age 18 or a trafficking victim. The bill subjects someone to this penalty regardless of whether he or she knows or should know the prostitute's age or status as a trafficking victim. By law, a class C felony is punishable by one to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

By law, other forms of patronizing a prostitute are punishable as a class A misdemeanor. The bill requires a court to impose a $2,000 fine for this crime.

Patronizing a Prostitute from a Motor Vehicle

By law, this crime is a class A misdemeanor. The bill requires the court to impose a $2,000 fine for this crime.

Using Fine Revenue

The bill requires using money collected from the mandatory $2,000 fines described above for State Police and local police prostitution and human trafficking investigations.

§ 9 — ENTICING A MINOR

The bill expands this crime to include enticing a minor age 16 or 17; current law applies to minors under age 16. By law, a person commits this crime by using an interactive computer service to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prostitution or illegal sexual activity.

By law, this crime is a class D felony (punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both) for a first offense, a class C felony for a second offense, and a class B felony (punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both) for a third or subsequent offense. But it is a class B felony when the victim is under age 13, with a five-year mandatory minimum for a first offense and a 10-year mandatory minimum for a subsequent offense.

§ 10 — POSTING TRAFFICKING NOTICES

The bill requires more people to post a notice developed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator about services for human trafficking victims.

It expands the types of service stops that must post the notice. Currently, privately owned and operated facilities offering food, fuel, lawful overnight truck parking, and shower and laundry facilities must post it. The bill instead requires any publicly or privately operated service plaza to post it.

It requires hotels, motels, similar lodgings, and businesses that offer for sale or promote performances for adult audiences to post the notice.

The bill requires someone to post the notice if he or she holds one of the following types of on-premises consumption permits for the retail sale of alcohol: restaurant permit, restaurant permit for beer, restaurant permit for wine and beer, or café permit. As under existing law, other retail alcohol permit holders must post the notice, except for those who only hold one or more of the following permits:

1. caterer, railroad, boat, airline, military, charitable organization, or special club permit;

2. temporary liquor or temporary beer permit; or

3. farm winery or beer manufacturer permit, beer and brew pub manufacturer permit, or other manufacturer permit.

By law, this notice must state the toll-free state and federal anti-trafficking hotline numbers that someone can call if he or she is forced to engage in an activity and cannot leave.

BACKGROUND

Related Bills

sHB 5052, favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee, contains an identical provision requiring lodging operator record-keeping. It also (1) expands the crimes of enticing a minor and trafficking in persons, (2) allows the court to impose a standing criminal restraining order against someone convicted of committing certain types of trafficking, and (3) increases the penalty for patronizing a prostitute under certain circumstances.

sHB 5623, favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee, contains provisions identical to this bill except it (1) does not include the provision requiring using money collected under a mandatory $2,000 fine for patronizing a prostitute or patronizing a prostitute from a motor vehicle for police investigations and (2) expands the trafficking in persons crime.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

42

Nay

0

(03/16/2016)